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Sunday Afternoon

I took a Sunday stroll on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. I walked through the park, observing the young skateboarders. Across from the skateboarders, I observed the old homeless men sitting on benches, watching me as I watched them.

As I crossed the street, I noticed a young couple also crossing, holding hands, as if they had done that a thousand times. I have not done that once with my lover. Not on a Sunday afternoon. My heart ached at the image of them, so casual and nonchalant in their affection for each other.

I stood on the street's corner after crossing, watching another young couple at the bus stop. She was very short, and he was very tall, and they were very in love. they talked, and turned, looking for the bus, and he'd pull her into his arms, and they would kiss, as if nobody was around, or watching. It was just the two of them in their intimate world...except for me, watching.
I could tell they had been together for a long time, in the relaxed way they kissed, and touched each other. It wasn't new to them, but that did not take away the excitement of being together. They laughed together, and hugged each other; her face leaning far up to look at him, and his head leaning down towards hers, noses rubbing. Yhe bus came and took them away.

A mother and daughter appeared, and crossed the street, into the park I had just visited earlier. The daughter was an adorable blonde girl of 6 or 7 years old; the mother seemed to be in her thirties, beautiful and fit. I wondered if she was a single mom, or was her husband at home, working? Was he out with his friends, at a pub, drinking; on the couch, watching a sports game? With his mistress; or just not there at all?
They crossed the street, holding hands, and when they got to the other side, her young daughter wrapped an arm around her mother's waist, with the pure affection only a child can give. Affection given freely, excused from judgment, and unbridled in its expression. It was as if the daughter's embrace of her mother was saying, "I love you this much." It felt that way to me, watching.

I felt the tears welling up behind my eyes, as I was touched by the love between this mother and her daughter, and the couples' pure enjoyment of each other. I was overwhelmed by how poignant these simple glimpses and snapshots of other people's lives were to me. The livelihood of humanity had surrounded and enveloped me in its warm embrace on this sunny afternoon.

Most likely, the people I watched won't remember the nuances of that day, but I surely will, as the observer who felt privileged and humbled to watch the simple marvels of a Sunday afternoon. 

Life is so full of beauty; it does a person good to stop and look around.
wildf1ower wildf1ower 22-25 19 Responses Jun 17, 2011

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I love good writing. The last line is so full of truth and meaning: there is so much in life around us, that is worth the time to pause and experience. If you are not writing full-time, you should be. Thank you, for sharing your reactions to the world you observed, on that Sunday afternoon.

Thank you :)

This is a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it. I like to watch people also. The part about the older couple reminded me of a couple I knew years ago. He worked at the hardware store where I was working. He was very tall and his wife was very short. They seemed like such an odd couple. Then one night I got to see them dance. The moves were very practiced as they glided across the floor. They were so elegant. It was obvious that this odd couple were made for each other.
There is a little poem on my profile under the "I Love Coffee group. You might like it. It's all about people watching.

i walked through 1/2 of central park in July when i was in NY for the first time, by myself, and had many of the same feelings watching people go about their daily business, oblivious to me watching, i spent 1/2 the day in the museum of natural history, and was watching people watch the exhibits, as much as i was looking at them myself...MoMa, was the same...it was quite a day, made me feel both alone, yet alive, i will never forget it...

yes, i truly understand when you speak about feeling both alone and alive..it is quite an experience. a part of our humanity to feel that way, at least once in our time, i'd say

a moment in time is a very shaping experience like you mentioned remebering what they themselves may not..

I want to look at your other stories too you seem like a lively woman :)

Great story daisy and thank you for the laughing agreement as to the cause of my blindness lol :)

haha no problem, that story was a mind ****. and thank you for your compliment on my story!

this was nearly a year ago,but what a lovely story,and i am sure by now you have someone,with whom you can do all whats in your lovely story

You should write a novel.

What a sweet piece. I too am a people watcher. I too wonder. You will find what you seek someday; most likely when you are not looking.

one can hope! thank you, you are kind.

you really are a gifted and talented writer. You have an incredible way of expressing yourself. I actually thought I was there watching with you. Love life.

I agree. You can be a talented writer.

Great story :) Got to love Sunday strolls!

Simply amazing. You should write more.

thank you all for the lovely comments. to windsweptcowboy, you asked what keeps me from realizing my potential for love? only myself, kind cowboy.

*Cowboy draws up his horse and looks toward the city*

possible

For a cowboy who can find comfort in the solitude of the prairie, but may feel confused within a city, you seem possessed of a magical lens to view love ... and a wonderful heart to experience love.<br />
<br />
What keeps you from realizing your potential for love?

Very beautiful. People can be amazing.<br />
Every day we should find something good within that 24 hours. I think it would make us all better people.<br />
You write wonderfully btw.<br />
Az

i wholeheartedly agree! i'd hate to waste this beautiful thing we call life. thank you for your kind comment.

i love doing my people watching at the gym, wide range to observe, it's a blast. nice story

Yes daisygirl, It was a precious scene I have been on both sides of: theirs and yours.<br />
I am where you are again, and long to be back, hand in hand, holding reassuringly, as you tell it so romantically and beautifully.<br />
"You wore a gown of gold!"<br />
"I was dressed in blue"<br />
"Am I getting old?"<br />
"Oh no. Not you!"<br />
(Chevalier and Gingold in "Gigi" singing "I remember it well."